Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Janie Update 3-22-10

Hi! It's been a little while since we've updated you on Janie's situation, so...here goes........

Weekly chemo continues, and we really are so thankful for the technology! There are new chemotherapies being developed all the time and we of course pray for a cure. We never let up praying that Janie will be 100% healed!

The blood test called ca27-29 rose by quite a bit (up to 145 from the mid-90's) so it is time for Janie to move on to another chemotherapy drug. The new one is actually a return to
her very first drug, called Adriamycin. Dr. Eisemann thinks that it is ok to return to this one since enough time (5 1/2 years!) has passed and the cancer will not 'recognize' the Adriamycin as something it has been faced with before...that is, it will have 'forgotten' it and hopefully will be a weak foe for the drug to fight against.

The side effects for Janie last time were minimal (includes hair loss - medical term: alopecia) but we don't worry about that any more because the radiation already took care of that. Some nausea can also be a side effect but they have anti-nausea drugs to curb that.

**update** I typed all of that yesterday (Monday 3-22) and since then Janie has been feeling "a little weird." She's quite fatigued and feels a little sick.

Anyway, another potential side effect, especially since she has been on this drug before, is a slight chance that the Adriamycin can interfere with the pumping action of the heart. So she had an echocardiogram (like an ultrasound that they do for babies only it's for your heart) today to get a baseline so they will have something to compare to in the future.

She also had an x-ray on her right hip...she's had some pain returning there too.

Fatigue has been a real issue for Janie lately, so maybe - and this is just me hoping, not doctors suggesting - maybe her energy will improve with the switch to Adriamycin.

Now moving on to the cough: I wish we could have brighter news, but lately the cough has been Janie's constant companion. Argh! Sometimes it will be just a little tickle, and other times it seems to come with no warning, and then she's gasping for air. This can be a little alarming to witness as you might imagine. It does wake her up sometimes, and I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but she needs to sleep mostly sitting up. We'd still ask you to pray that this cough would dissipate and that Janie would get some rest.

So anyway, we'd of course very much appreciate all of your prayers, and thank you so much for your many kindnesses and expressions of concern...it means so much to us.

This is from a book that has made a big impact on Janie, called Streams in the Desert:

"Why is it that God leads us in this way, allowing such strong and constant pressure on us? One of His purposes is to show us His all-sufficient strength and grace more effectively than if we were free from difficulties and trials. 'We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from man.' 

Another purpose is to bring us a greater awareness of our dependence on Him. God is constantly trying to teach us how dependent we are on Him - that we are held completely by his hand and reliant on His care alone."

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

Love, Chris

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